Perfect Flaw Edited by Robin Blankenship

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This science fiction anthology has tales from 17 different authors and despite the stories all being unique and interesting; not to mention very entertaining, they have one thing in common.

They indicate a future that makes 1984 and “big brother” seem almost benevolent by comparison. Each offer a vision of an Apollonian society gone wrong, tweaked and perfected until it has gone into a Dionysian free fall.

Smilers by Carolyn M Chang reflects a society that practises positive thinking to the ultimate level.

Cracks in the Concrete by Frank Roger tells of a government that has become paranoid and expects its denizens to be the same.

First Head by H S Donnelly is a nightmarish look at self-preservation gone horribly wrong.

These are just three examples of the brilliant stories in this collection.

If you are a fan of science fiction you’ll love this book. Each author has given his or her take on the future and all the various problems and societal ills that it might contain. Each story takes existing topical problems and forecasts their conclusions in the future.

I have always been a fan of Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, Ray Bradbury and Issac Asimov, just to name my absolute favourites. Perfect Flaw exhibits a great spectrum of authors who now fall into my list of “new and to be read” authors, whose existence was unknown to me before reading this book.

I have to give a “special mention” to author Michael O’Conner for his story The Choosing. This story took me by surprise by having an O Henry type twist in this tale that left me shaking my head. Although it is hard to pick a favourite out of this anthology, his was the one that stayed in my head long after I read it.

Perfect Flaw has been released by Seventh Star Publishing and is available on Amazon as well as other booksellers.

This is a real 5 out of 5 star book that entertained the hell out of me!

Editor Robin Blankenship
Editor Robin Blankenship

Southern Haunts: Spirits That Walk Among Us Down South Spooks

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Edited by Alexander S. Brown and  J. L. Mulvihill; illustrated by Robert K and published by Seventh Star Press, this anthology of 16 ghostly tales range from Missouri to Louisiana and use real life locations to start each story off.

While some of the stories are not as entertaining as others, the introduction to new authors is an overall treat.  I also liked the different types of ghost stories on offer. Each is an original take on already infamous buildings, roads, and areas filled with southern  spooks and legends.

You won’t meet any chain rattling spooks or moaning ghouls a la Dickens, but you will find a very disparate group of hauntings in this “Down South” multi-locational collection of short stories.

You’ll be introduced to the soothing, healing bath houses of Hot Springs, Arkansas where you’d be wise to avoid one house in particular. [Bath 10]

There is a job opening for a new ghost hunter on an existing team that you may want to pass on to some other job seeking applicant.[Interview for a Ghost Hunter]

And there’s a certain Civil War hospital you wouldn’t want to check into. [The Top Floor]

Southern Haunts is just one of several anthologies on offer at the moment that give us a view of what lies out there just waiting for us to discover it. It is full of variety and has something in it that should appeal to everyone who loves this genre.

This book is available on Amazon.com and other booksellers.

A 4 out of 5 stars for me based just on the variety and the setting. I am, after all, a southern boy who loves his southern ghosts!

Alexander S Brown
Alexander S Brown
J L Mulvihill
J L Mulvihill

Thirteen for 13 an Introduction to Larry Underwood’s Short Fiction

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I made the acquaintance of Mr Underwood on Facebook via mutual friends (like you do) and I noticed the other day that he’d gotten one of his stories, an excellent piece of Western horror flash-fiction, promoted by Amazon.com as a limited freebie.

I love free anything and I immediately shot over to the Amazon sellers and found that it was not free on the UK site. I sent Larry a quick line to say so. This generous and talented gentleman sent me a personal  copy and on top of that, he sent me copies of two more of his short stories.

All three are part of an ongoing project of his called, Thirteen for 13.

All three of these tales were different and entertaining.

Terror on the Plains deals with an Indian legend.

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Hiccup is a time travel tale with a sense of humour.

The Clothes Make the Man is just brilliant.

There is another story that is part of this project entitled Dreams. I have not read it yet as I wanted to quickly jot down my thoughts on his work thus far.

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The wonderful thing about all Larry’s work is its “visual” texture. I literally felt like I was “reading” episodes from some classic anthology program like The Twilight Zone or Ray Bradbury‘s Theatre. Any one of these stories would make a great adaptation to the small screen and I’ll be very surprised if that doesn’t happen.

The fact that all of the books are horror related should come as no surprise, if you read his Author’s Bio on Amazon. In case you haven’t seen it, I’ll pop it (in its entirety) below:

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Larry Underwood is best known as an award-winning TV horror host in the Middle TN area where he introduced late-night creature features for 13 years as Dr. Gangrene. He has written articles for various magazines including Scary Monsters and Outre. He lives in Hendersonville, TN with his sons and four dogs. He can be found online at drgangrene.com 

All four of these tales are available on Amazon and worth the time spent reading them. 

Check them out!

Author Larry Underwood.
Author Larry Underwood.

 

Taken by Adam Light: O. Henry Eat Your Heart Out

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Adam Lights short story Taken throws a different light on the usual tales of abduction. Here is a  protagonist whose secret trauma is not revealed until the very last of the story and it helps to give an O Henry ending that quite surprised me.

I have only just discovered the delights of Adam and Evans Light and their twisted world of horror and the unique way they write about it. I’m rapidly becoming a fan and I’ll be continually dipping into their new books as they write them, like a literary humming-bird darting into their different stories for a taste of sweet sinister terror.

Both the authors can be found in the realms of Goodreads and what a pleasant discovery they are. If you aren’t familiar with their work, check out the Goodreads site and keep your eyes peeled for some of the special deals that these two talented writers are a part of. Kindle  deals abound and you can sample the terror filled treats that are becoming a staple of the two brothers.

I’ve only read two of the brother’s work and as I mentioned above, I am rapidly becoming a fan of their original ideas and very different story lines. I know that the title of this post is somewhat deceiving in that it looks like I am going to be addressing the story Taken its own. But being a short story, I would give way too much of the plot away.

I will say it deals with a long distance driver who loves his stay-at-home partner too much. So much in fact that he’ll do anything for her. It’s a great read and entertaining.

Check both Adam and Evans stuff out, if their stories were edible, I’d say, “They’re finger-licking good.”

Author Adam Light.
Author Adam Light.

A definite 4 star tale just for the unpredictable twist at the end.